When I moved to the States from Mexico, my second language was a novelty. At a certain point, fellow fifth graders pressed me so much for samples of Spanish that it got annoying.
To slow down the requests, I stated my terms: “A penny per word.” That worked.
One of my friends, Glen, offered his own phrase in lieu of pennies: “Cole day ron.” Unfortunately, that didn’t mean anything to me. “No deal.” But the phrase lodged in my memory.
One day, two or three years later, I was mowing the lawn at Kaleo Lodge. Mowing has always been a promised land of creative thinking. It’s where I dream of better things.
As I rounded a curve in the island of grass, it came to me:
“Sana, sana, colita de rana.”*
“Oh!!! THAT’S what Glen was trying to say: ‘colita de rana’.”
It was too late for Glen’s exchange; the novelty of Spanish had worn off by then.
*A literal translation of this saying would be “Heal, heal, little frog’s tail.” I could be wrong, but I think it’s what parents might say about their children’s boo-boos, kind of like “Let’s kiss it and make it better.”
(background image by unknown on Pixabay)